Proposal to Ban Tobacco Sales on Navy Bases, Ships

Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter is speaking out against a reported proposal being considered by the Navy to ban the sale of tobacco products on all its bases and ships, calling it a “political decision.”

The Military Times reported Monday that Navy officials are considering removing tobacco from all retail outlets, including exchange-operated sales venues and Morale, Welfare and Recreation program outlets.  Navy commissaries do not sell tobacco products.

Hunter, a Marine veteran who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, said in a letter to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus he strongly opposes the ban, saying it will limit or restrict service members from purchasing legal products.

“While I recognize the Navy believes removing tobacco products would help in ‘maximizing the readiness’ of sailors and Marines, it’s my belief that the Navy should worry less about intruding on the personal-decision making of these same sailors and Marines, while creating added burdens in the process,” Hunter wrote.